Hiring guide for Dylan Engineers

Dylan Developer Hiring Guide

Dylan is a multi-paradigm programming language, created by Apple Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University during the early 1990s. Named after the poet Dylan Thomas, it was intended to be a high-level language for the Macintosh operating system (Cannon, 1995). The language supports object-oriented programming, functional programming and has a dynamic typing system. Unfortunately, despite its innovative features, Dylan never gained widespread use due to its complex syntax and the rise of Java (Shivers, 2010). Nevertheless, it remains an influential piece in the history of computer software programming languages.

Ask the right questions secure the right Dylan talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General Dylan app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Dylan application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

How would you declare a variable in Dylan?
In Dylan, you declare a variable using the 'let' keyword, followed by the variable name and its value. For example, 'let x = 5;' denotes that x is a variable with the value of 5.
What are the basic data types in Dylan?
Dylan supports several basic data types including: integer, float, boolean, character, string, symbol, pair, and null.
Describe the difference between '==' and '===' in Dylan.
In Dylan, '==' is used for equality checking, it checks if the values of two operands are equal or not. On the other hand, '===' checks for identity, it checks if two operands refer to the same object.
How would you create a function in Dylan?
In Dylan, functions are created using the 'define method' keyword followed by the function name, parameters, and body. For example, 'define method add (x, y) x + y end method;' creates a function named 'add' which takes two parameters x and y and returns their sum.
What are the control structures available in Dylan?
Dylan provides several control structures including: if, if-else, unless, while, for, foreach, block, and method.
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What you’re looking for early on

Has the candidate demonstrated a solid understanding of Dylan programming language?
Does the candidate show problem-solving skills?
Can the candidate communicate effectively?
Is the candidate able to discuss their past projects using Dylan?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Dylan development questions

The next 20 minutes of the interview should focus on the candidate's expertise with specific backend frameworks, their understanding of RESTful APIs, and their experience in handling data storage and retrieval efficiently.

Describe the difference between a 'method' and a 'function' in Dylan.
In Dylan, a 'method' is a named sequence of statements which may take parameters and return a value. A 'function' on the other hand is a special kind of method which does not have an associated object.
How would you handle exceptions in Dylan?
In Dylan, exceptions are handled using the 'block' and 'exception' keywords. 'block' is used to define a block of code where an exception can occur, and 'exception' is used to catch and handle the exception.
What are macros in Dylan and how would you use them?
Macros in Dylan are a way to define reusable pieces of code. They are defined using the 'define macro' keyword and can be used just like functions.
Describe the difference between 'let' and 'let*' in Dylan.
'let' and 'let*' are used to declare variables in Dylan. The difference is that 'let' allows you to declare multiple variables at once, while 'let*' declares variables one at a time in sequential order, allowing each declaration to use the value of the previous declarations.
How would you create a class in Dylan?
In Dylan, a class is created using the 'define class' keyword, followed by the class name, its superclasses, and its slots. For example, 'define class point (object) slot x, y; end class point;' creates a class named 'point' with two slots x and y.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the Dylan engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled Dylan engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in Dylan programming language, and knowledge of software development methodologies. Red flags include lack of hands-on experience, inability to articulate complex concepts, or unfamiliarity with standard coding practices.

Digging deeper

Code questions

These will help you see the candidate's real-world development capabilities with Dylan.

What does this simple Dylan code do?
define method hello-world ()
  format-out("Hello, World!\n");
end method;
This code defines a method called 'hello-world' that prints 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What does this Dylan code do?
let x = 10;
if (x > 5)
  format-out("x is greater than 5\n");
  format-out("x is not greater than 5\n");
end if;
This code declares a variable 'x' with value 10, and then checks if 'x' is greater than 5. If 'x' is greater than 5, it prints 'x is greater than 5', otherwise it prints 'x is not greater than 5'.
What does this Dylan code do?
define method sum-array (arr :: )
  reduce(+, arr, 0);
end method;
This code defines a method 'sum-array' that takes a sequence 'arr' as an argument and returns the sum of all elements in the array.
What does this Dylan code do?
define class  ()
  slot count, init-value: 0;
end class;
define method increment! (c :: )
  set! (c.count, c.count + 1);
end method;
This code defines a class 'counter' with a slot 'count' initialized to 0. It also defines a method 'increment!' that increments the 'count' of a 'counter' object by 1.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for Dylan Developer role questions

The final few questions should evaluate the candidate's teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, assess their knowledge of microservices architecture, serverless computing, and how they handle Dylan application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What are slots in Dylan?
Slots in Dylan are variables that are associated with instances of a class. They hold the state of an object.
Describe the difference between 'seal' and 'unseal' in Dylan.
In Dylan, 'seal' is used to prevent further modifications to a module or class, while 'unseal' allows modifications. Once a module or class is sealed, you cannot add or remove slots or methods, but with 'unseal' you can.
How would you implement inheritance in Dylan?
In Dylan, inheritance is implemented by defining a new class with one or more existing classes as its superclasses. The new class inherits all the slots and methods of its superclasses.

Dylan application related

Product Perfect's Dylan development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your Dylan engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in Dylan projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.